Dazzling personality

Rare opal cameo in gold with diamonds, Austria circa 1980

A mysterious lady captivates our gaze. Gold, silver and sparkling diamonds frame a large opal in which the dazzling profile image of a girl is carved. Green, red and blue iridesce the stone, sparkles and glows and seems animated by an inner light. Cutting gems and cameos in opal is a special art. At the end of the 19th century, Wilhelm Schmidt, a German gem engraver who immigrated from Idar-Oberstein, became famous in Britain for being the first to cut portraits and mythological scenes into this special mineral. Some of his works are still kept in the Natural History Museum and the British Museum in London. His art quickly became famous, but rarely imitated due to the difficulty of cutting gems in opal. The opal presented here is in the tradition of Wilhelm Schmidt, but was created about 100 years later. Not only the depiction of the lady bears witness to this, but also, for example, the cut of the diamonds. Because a total of twelve full-cut diamonds are set into the delicate framing of gold and silver, which wonderfully accompany the opal with their fire. We date this first-class piece of jewellery to around 1980, and the hallmarks on the back prove that it was made in Austria. Tradition and progress were not opposed here - perhaps the reason why this era could look so optimistically to the future. On Schmidt's opal cameos, see Charlotte Gere/Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, London: British Museum Press 2010, p. 481.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.